It all started with an article on Reddit (read here) then as an experiment by a fellow blogger on Late Night Fort Collins (read here), the Collegain is involved (read here) and it may be a tackled by the news. The Rec Room, a local night club in downtown Fort Collins has been accused of racism. But, is it a racist establishment? Is there proof of discrimination of who they let in the door? Can we, without a shadow of a doubt, make the accusation, point the finger at the Rec Room and say a definitive ‘yes’ to both these questions? Yes and no. There is enough proof from multiple sources that there is something sketchy going on (read the above articles to get a glimpse of these investigations). It appears to be connected to race. I even found some review on Yelp (read here) that support these accusations. These reviews were written before the recent articles on Rec Room made an appearance.
Rec Room’s representatives have made the statement that they turn people away at the door because of dress code. The dress code has, until now, not been public knowledge but seemed random and without merit. I get dress codes. My husband and I go to Vegas often and there are some clubs who will turn you away without a second glance. The difference between the Rec Room and these swanky clubs in Vegas? You pay a hell of a lot of money to get into the Vegas clubs AND they post their dress code on their websites. Is it so hard for Rec Room to have posted their dress code on their web site, or, even their Facebook page? Apparently so.
The dress code should have been made public before now and been clear as to the do’s and do not’s. The Collegian reported that they now have the dress code posted by the door, but mentioned nothing about black pants. That’s right, black pants. Two gentlemen of color were turned away because they were waring black pants.
Why have a dress code? The first statement made by the Rec Room is to keep the establishment classy. Black pants on a man or a women is, in my book, classy.
I have seen women in clubs with dresses so short I can practically see their vagina. Men dressed in hoodies and ball caps are also not appealing, at least to me. I love a man who knows how to dress and look clean cut. I would gladly offer these “under-dressed” people a nice pair of black pants. Classy.
The recent posting of the dress code by the Rec Room is what I call C.Y.A. or Cover Your Ass.
They need to because, whether they want to believe it or not, they are in deep shit.
The second reason for their dress code, to prevent gang related activity. I honestly don’t think this is a big problem in Fort Collins. Fear of gang activity does has merit and the stereotype that people of color are more likely to be in a gang may have truth behind it, but not much.
Fort Collins is probably about the whitest city in the United States. I am not saying that it is, but it must be pretty darn close. There is hardly any diversity here and it is a shame.
For example: I work in make-up and recently had some “women of color” come into my studio looking for foundation. My boss doesn’t keep any dark colors on hand and we have to special order them. Why? Because in the three years I have worked in that studio, this was the first time I had seen anyone who needed a color darker than tan. I was secretly biting my nails because I didn’t want these women thinking that I was discriminating against them. It is a sensitive subject and this situation could have been taken the wrong way. We just don’t keep the product on the shelf because we don’t sell it, but we could easily be accused of racism because of this situation. I apologized and made sure that I gave these ladies what they needed, on special order. They understood and I made a few jokes about how white it is in Fort Collins. Does this situation make me or the place I work racist? No. We are a business and businesses make money. MONEY. Hear that Rec Room? You are losing out on money. I treated the situation sensitively because it is a sensitive subject. It just is. There are too many years of damage to ever make up for the racial prejudices in our country. Maybe, just maybe the Rec Room has been falsely accused, but I HIGHLY doubt it.
The community has had a hell of a response to all the articles presenting the question of racism and the Rec Room. Insults are flying in the comments sections of all the articles and feelings are getting pushed aside, anger, revenge, carnage! Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Freedom of speech and all.
My Advice for Rec Room:
There is a cry of injustice spreading like wildfire across the community. Enough people have cried racism that there must be some truth behind it. I am afraid you have dug yourself into a hole and will have a hard time crawling out of it any time soon. The only way for you to prove that the dress code really is the reason for turning away patrons is to make sure your employees adhere to the rules with military precision. Period. You have already lost patrons and are on your way to a full blown investigation. We may all have our racial prejudices on one level or another but this isn’t the 1960’s. Don’t forget that gang members can dress nicely too. In fact, now that the secret is out, some may just get in wearing a nice suit just to spite you. AND I hope they do. Keep it classy, not racist. This is, after all, the 2010’s.
And now, a video for your enjoyment. A song about racism. Please don’t take it too seriously, there has been enough banter and blood shed.
Check back on Friday for Skippy’s advice. What did you think about Robyn’s advice? Comment below!